… or has the world gone crazy.
I’m reading a book ‘The Madness of Crowds’ by Douglas Murray. It was sent to me by a friend, also 60, after we’d talked about how I was feeling increasingly alienated by the modern world.
Our discussion started with me telling the story of my Zero Tolerance written warning from the doctors. It then progressed into his tale of the Zero Tolerance sacking of a work colleague for a moderately unsupportive Facebook post about Black Lives Matter.
The book, which I’m now half-way through, sets out how the new culture wars of which BLM is one example is playing out in workplaces, universities, schools and homes in the names of social justice, identity, politics and intersectionality.
The book’s jacket summarises Murray’s core message: “We are living through a postmoderm era in which the grand narratives of religion and political ideology have collapsed. In their place have emerged a crusading desire to right perceived wrongs and a weaponisation of identity, both accelerated by the new forms of social and news media. Narrow sets of interests now dominate the agenda as society becomes more and more tribal and the casualties are mounting.”
I’m hoping the book points the way out of this madness because at the moment it’s merely adding to my sense of well, madness.
Some days it feels like almost everything I see (on TV news or on social media) or read (in newspapers) is annoying, just plain wrong or needs sorting. It feels like there’s just so much wrong with the world.
In my newspaper today, by way of example, a YouGov survey of 820 British academics revealed that nearly a third of those with right-wing views had stopped airing their opinions in either teaching or research.
Murray’s book which includes shocking tales of near-lynchings of academics and university staff for expressing non-woke sentiments on American campuses explains why. What starts over there often ends up over here.
I’m reaching the point where I’m wondering whether it’s good for my health to consume news any more. Even the once beloved BBC is now so woke that I often can’t bear to listen to much of FiveLive’s daytime output.
Is it me, is it my age or is something sinister going on with the world? I never realised that this sense of alienation would be such a big part of my retirement life experience.
Makes me wonder what other people of my age feel, perhaps there is a common thread, a set of core beliefs amongst most people my age or older.
If there is maybe it’s the retired, the seniors, the over 60s who need to organise, join forces – not just every five years when there is an election but all the time – and to speak out and defend free speech – the cornerstone of our democracy. After all with our careers behind us we have nothing to lose but our chains.